Our Consultants

Patricia Cumbie



Minneapolis, Minnesota


(612) 341-2650


Co-op Education and Ownership Programs

Profile Video

  • Profile Overview

  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications

  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer

  • Other works by Patricia Cumbie

Profile Overview arrow

  • Profile Overview arrow
  • Profile Overview
  • Articles from CDS Consulting publications
  • Articles in Cooperative Grocer or other publications
  • Other works by Patricia Cumbie

Patricia Cumbie began her cooperative career as the member services director at Seward Community Co-op in Minneapolis in 1989.

Over the course of her career in retail food co-ops, including Mississippi Market and Lakewinds Food Co-op, she worked as a department manager, customer service manager, trainer and marketing and member services director. “I love sharing the values of cooperation with a wide variety of people,” she said. “As a former customer service department manager, I also understand the critical need for staff and others to be able to easily grasp the concepts of cooperation and feel comfortable talking to people about it.”

Patricia is also the co-author of several educational handbooks for food co-ops: the Brand Readiness Kit, How to Start a Food Co-op (revised edition), and the Member Equity Toolbox, and as well as Growing with Purpose, the 40-year history of Seward Community Co-op released in 2012, and the Lakewinds Natural Foods Cookbook. Her writing ability combined with her insights into the food co-op sector make her a powerful supporter for cooperatives seeking to you improve, structure, and strengthen their ownership programs. She said about her work, “I believe that our sector has the opportunity to strengthen its co-op education and outreach, and enhance the understanding of cooperation in more communities.”

Contact Patricia to:

“ Patricia Cumbie did an outstanding job of shepherding our organization through a complex rebranding and renaming process. She implemented an effective process of input and alignment with key stakeholders, and we could not be happier with the outcomes. We could not have done it without her! ”

Christina Jennings, executive director, Shared Capital Cooperative

“ Patricia has a deep knowledge of food cooperatives covering a wide variety of aspects of cooperative education and marketing. Her work style is inclusive and collaborative and she has the unique ability to convey complexities in a straightforward, understandable style. Patricia is a consummate professional who is at ease working with the staff, the board or community groups. I have always counted on her to deliver exceptional work, and I have never been disappointed. ”

Gail Graham, General Manager, Mississippi Market, St. Paul, Minn.

“ The marketing team at our cooperative brought Patricia in to help us kick up our copy writing skills. She helped every single person on our team improve their work and feel more confident. Patricia has a way of leading that leaves you feeling smart, yet challenges you to take your work to a new level. Plus, it was fun! I would, without hesitation, recommend working with Pat. ”

Lisa Malmarowski, Director of Brand and Store Development, Outpost Natural Foods, Milwaukee, WI

“ Patricia's deep knowledge and professional commitment to cooperatives comes across in her writing and educational presentations. She firmly grasps the marketing opportunity in “Making Membership Meaningful.” If you are thinking about using her services then do it! You’ll be glad you did. ”

David Thompson, author, Weavers of Dreams

“ Patricia Cumbie is a food co-op advocate with exceptional writing, researching and editing skills. Her passion for and experience with food co-ops made her a valued editor of the Twin Cities’ publication, The Mix, a strong contributor to many articles for Cooperative Grocer, and NCG’s strongertogether.coop website on topics ranging from the basics of the cooperative structure to stories of co-op impact. ”

Kelly Smith, Marketing Director, National Co+op Grocers